Some of my first memories when I was a very young child were of clotheslines. Monday was Wash Day! We had a clothes line similar to others in the neighborhood. Women had a 'contest', of sorts, to see who could get their clothes out on the line FIRST! No prizes for that, but I'm sure it came with the pride of feeling like the best homemaker on the block!
Mom had a clothes pin bag with the plain slide on pins, and some of the new fan-dangled gripper clip-on style...much easier to get over top of jeans and thick fabrics. I recall being out in the yard on wash day while she hung out laundry. She had an expandable pen to corral me, forming a circle; when she had to run indoors for a moment, I would start wailing loudly - I didn't want to be out there by myself! She'd come out and hand me a cookie as a bribe, then race back indoors to finish up what she had going, then return to complete the laundry cycle and keep an eye on me! Sometimes she'd let me help by having me hand her the clothes pins as she told me what type she needed. As I got older, I would hand them to her with a practiced eye as I understood without being told which type she needed to pin up undies, shirts, and tablecloths.
Clothes lines at our house were for the nice weather! In winter mom would use the clothes dryer. I still remember her dumping the warm clothes out on the couch for folding! I loved to find a big towel or something cuddly to wrap up in - the heat from the dried fabrics were so comforting to a small child! It felt soooooo GOOD!
Times change and as life got busier, clotheslines came down. Today some communities don't allow such things - they're considered an 'eye sore'! I don't have a clothes line today (who knows what would fall on them as the birds zoom through the woods), but my dryer has a gentle air-toss cycle and a special feature for permanent press clothing. I've mentioned before about the troubles I've had with sour smelling towels; I traced the problem back to fabric softeners. I stopped using them, even though they have a very pleasant scent added. Now I launder everything with my chosen brand of detergent, but I use my old liquid fabric softener ball in a new way -
I fill it half full of white vinegar - the vinegar cuts the soap that might be remaining in the rinse cycle. Soap build-up can happen, and along with the build ups of fabric softeners, can actually make your clothing smell sour when you wear it a while and find yourself perspiring.
Some of us might not go back to the use of Monday Wash Day and the use of clothes lines, but we all must do laundry. If you have any Wash Day hints, please include them in your comments! I'd love to hear them!